That is essentially what I get told when I try to relate to people older than me. And it’s not a babe as in dang girl but babe as in you are wet behind the ears. Which I haven’t been for most of my life. Granted I used to get told this a lot more in various ways when I was in my early 20′s but it happened today. I’m 40! I actually called them on it.
It was in Pilates class. As it is a mid-morning class I am younger than the next yougest by about 10 years and then the average age is late 60′s. We had taken a TRX class prior to this and we were discussing the level of difficulty and the older women were saying it feels like a bit of a victory getting through that class. Which it is as it’s hard! I said I wish we were more appreciative when we were younger about what shape we were in. In my 20′s I was a martial artist and extremely fit but didn’t fully appreciate it. If I did I wouldn’t have gotten so much out of shape because it’s hard getting fit again. Literally it was all what do you know you are just a babe, wait til you’re our age. I called them on it. I asked at what age can I expect to not hear that anymore. I’m 40. I’ve had experiences.
I try not to do this to people younger than me as I find it incredibly patronising. I can’t assume what some one has done in life. I packed a lot into my early 20′s that have shaped how I am. I went to university in London and explored Europe on a shoe string budget. Once, to get cheap seats to see Pavarotti in Tosca, I spent the night outside Covent Garden. I was 3rd in line. I was a foot from the boot of his Mercedes when he pulled up. I was first in line for an autograph except he went out the other door to avoid us. Skipping along in Brussels we accidently went up onto the palace wall. Guards coming out of the shadows gave us pause before we ran like hell.
I used to love going to Hyde Park and see Speaker’s Corner. The down with the government speakers kept the crowds, the religious end is near folks, not so much. When I came back stateside I helped reorganise our family’s manufacturing business then got through the sale of it. I was sick of journal entries by the end of that! While I graduated college I attained my black belt in Kempo and went on to achieve 3rd degree. Of course I couldn’t give up traveling. I vowed to use my passport once a year. I can’t think of a year when I didn’t do that so I’ve been very lucky.
As I moved through my 20′s I packed less into each year but still collected my experiences as I went. There were the various relationships and heartache, I wasn’t very good at picking them until I met my husband. I bought a house, then moved and bought another. Sold that one. Then came the major experience. Being a parent. If that doesn’t throw you into the deep end, I don’t know what will!
Now as I try to find new experiences I get to include my husband and our kids. My husband and I have the same idea. It’s important to live life and experience it rather than collect things that can come and go. Every experience shapes us good or bad. We don’t spoil our kids with material things but if they mention something that will broaden their horizons and build memories then we find a way. Our daughter did an autobiography in 4th grade where she mentioned she wanted to see the Eiffel Tower but not in pictures. So we showed her. My son now has that teacher and he’s working on the autobiography. I wonder what we’ll have to save up for!
I hope our kids have a ton of experiences when they set out on their journey. I just hope they don’t have to justify it like I have had to. I wonder what age I’ll be when I stop hearing but you’re so young, wait til you are my age.